An interview with Marc Punzert, Head of Intralogistics Systems/ RetroFit at TELOGS GmbH. Wettenberg/Gießen, 27.04.2022.
Mr. Punzert, you had implemented an interesting RetroFit project for the warehouse operator of an aircraft manufacturer in the last 12 months. To get started, would you like to tell us about the scope of the project?
We were commissioned to modernize various components of a tray warehouse. These include the material flow computer, four stacker cranes and a two-story conveyor system with a total of eight picking stations. We were responsible for the material flow computer as general contractor. In the conveyor technology, we have expanded the safety concept and implemented two failsafe PLCs with the TELOGS FLOW software. The barcode scanners and the operating panels were replaced by the current series and connected via a parallel ProfiSafe network. A previously non-existent access option to the RBG via the conveyor system was integrated by means of an additional platform between the floors. There are now the stationary control cabinets with one PLC per SRM with the TELOGS DISTANCE software. The touch panel and keypad installed there form the basis of the new operating concept, which is supplemented by MobilePanel. MoviC drive technology is installed in the new traveling control cabinet. The replacement of drives, energy chains, conductor rails, data light barriers, distance measuring lasers, complete cabling with sensor technology, as well as camera system and new load handling devices from AFB complete the complete renewal.
What is the total size of the warehouse we are talking about and what were the triggers for the RetroFit project?
We are talking about about 17,600 tray spaces, where the tray with 1000 x 500 mm and 200 kg maximum load offers a lot of storage possibilities and high variability. The triggers for RetroFit projects are usually always the same: A decreasing availability of spare parts and the reaching of wear limits. Based on this, we talk about risk mitigation and the need for customers to become future-proof again. This was also the case with this project.
Head of Intralogistics Systems/RetroFit
Phone: +49 641-944649-64
What would you describe as special about this project?
There are a few to name. On the one hand, the cooperation with the operator of the warehouse should be emphasized, who not only prepared the project excellently, but also supported us in every respect during the process. On the other hand, there are technical challenges such as the commissioning of the new MoviC series, the development of the new load handling device or the modification of the existing technology for regular switching between new and old technology. Last but not least, the configuration of the new material flow computer, the interim commissioning of the RBG controls with the existing old hardware. And of course, the conditions on site were special again. I think that is also the aim of the question?
Exactly. After all, RetroFit measures should not interfere with ongoing operations as much as possible. Surely that was the case in yours?
Yes, that’s it! The project was carried out in different time periods and implementation phases from June 2021 to April 2022. Our changeover concept meant that we carried out all preliminary work, implementations and pre-tests exclusively on weekends and in night shifts. This ensured that warehouse operations could continue almost unaffected during regular operating hours between 5:00 and 23:00. Those familiar with the aircraft industry may have an idea of how important this aspect in particular was for the operators. All the more reason to emphasize the fact that intelligent stock transfer planning by the customer made it possible to run a warehouse aisle completely free for integration weeks. The many preliminary works and tests, the integrated concepts and our exact joint coordination then enabled the go-live with a completely new SRM, three SRM with new control and old hardware, the two new conveyor controls and the new material flow computer on January 24, 2022.
Mr. Punzert, can this approach be transferred to other RetroFit projects as a standard?
You can only do that partially! Each warehouse, each company and each industry has its own characteristics. There is agreement among the operators that the modernization phases should not interfere with ongoing operations in the warehouse as far as possible. Our concepts and planning adapt individually to the conditions on site. From our many years of experience with many manufacturer-independent conversion measures and our many years of knowledge of a wide variety of warehouse operations, we always find the solution variant with the highest customer benefit in order to be able to implement a conversion as far as possible in parallel with further operations. Yes, the subject is very complex, but that’s exactly what TELOGS is for.
What was the biggest challenge for you during the conversion of the warehouse?
The challenge was to go live by the deadline, which was Monday at 06:00 in the morning. Yes, everything was tested to the maximum, no complications were expected and we could have gone back to the old system at any time. But of course you are looking forward to the deadline and are happy when the new system finally goes into productive operation, you can work on the fine tuning during operation and it will then bring the customer the advantages for which it was built.
Realization period: June 2021 to April 2022
Object: Tray storage
Number of trades: Four pieces of stacker cranes including connected two-storey conveyor system
Material flow computer
PLC Siemens 1515F + SEW drive technology
Sensors + control cabinets
Camera systems + control panel
Load handling attachment
Safety technology including safety concept
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